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Nuclear Medicine Technologist Work Conditions

Nuclear medicine technologists held about 21,900 jobs in 2010. Technologists are on their feet for long periods and may need to lift or turn patients who are disabled.

As shown in the following tabulation, most nuclear medicine technologists worked in hospitals in 2010:

Hospitals; state, local, and private 63%
Offices of physicians 25%
Medical and diagnostic laboratories 6%
Outpatient care centers 2%

Although radiation hazards exist in this occupation, they are minimized by the use of gloves and other shielding devices. Nuclear medicine technologists wear badges that measure radiation levels in the radiation area. Instruments monitor their radiation exposure and detailed records are kept on how much radiation they get over their lifetime. When preparing radioactive drugs, technologists use safety standards to keep the chance of radiation exposure low for patients, other healthcare workers, and themselves. 

Like other healthcare workers, nuclear medicine technologists may be exposed to infectious diseases.

Because imaging is sometimes needed in emergencies, some nuclear medicine technologists work evenings, weekends, or on call.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

Nuclear Medicine Technologist Duties
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